Wednesday, July 31

French Update


Okay so the reason why I have been MIA (missing in action) for the past couple of days is due to me currently popping over to see my parents and brother in the South of France. Every year my parents go on the same trip around France via their cosy caravan, stopping off along the way at campsites to see what has happened in the past twelve months since their last visit and also to catch up with their French friends. I and my brother, Mike have thus been going every summer and despite me loving to try out new places when I travel, I really do love seeing the homely campsites in France every year. However I must admit, last year I wasn't able to go due to work commitments but this year I thought why not and on Monday I flew down. Where I am currently, Carcassonne, is beautiful and definitely worth a visit if you're in the South of France or if you have a soft spot for a bit of medieval history. Anyway, the jist of this tale is do not worry, I have not abandoned And Kate - I will be back! Asta la vista baby.

Monday, July 29

Gran Canaria: Part II

{Ben was wearing: Primark Tee, Hollister Shorts, Nike Shoes & Adidas Backpack. I was wearing: Hollister Tee, Billabong Shorts, Nike+ Shoes, Ray Ban Wayferers, Michael Kors Watch & Tiffany/Pandora Jewellery}
How amazing is this sand sculpture of the last supper!? Being a Theology student I was particularly amused.

After a few days of needed rest, we decided it was time to go out and explore what Maspalomas has to offer, so of course, with me being a child at heart, we headed to the zoo. However this wasn't just any zoo, this was Palmitos Park which had spectacular dolphin and bird shows, an aquarium and enclosures where you could be in direct contact with birds of all sorts. My personal favourite is this narky chap with the amazing hair-do. 

Next up we couldn't resist going to the beaches, visiting the famous Maspalomas sand dunes and of course, soaking up the sun. Maspalomas had an amazing selection of shops, from Lacoste, Hugo Boss all the way to Mint Clothing, which sold the most beautiful Mulberry bags!

The restaurants in Maspalomas were also equally gorgeous and I couldn't resist trying a selection of their cocktails. The verdict in the end was the Cosmopolitan cocktail was the winner, with the Mojito not too far behind. Whilst I tried out the cocktails, Ben indulged in a mighty-fine ice cream, called the Banana Split. The cocktail bar that we revisited over and over throughout the holiday not only served delicious concoctions, but they also had an amazing blues/jazz singer and then a DJ later on ... the perfect way to end an adventure-filled day.

Saturday, July 27

Holiday Blues


Okay, so coming back from a fabulous holiday is never great, having to dive back into everyday chaos and actually having to set alarms on your phone; rather than having ridiculously long lie-ins. However, one of the things that I actually do get excited about coming home for, is getting clean and removing any last speck of sand off my skin. So I have compiled six things that I am all about right now that I am back from Gran Canaria.

1 Sanctuary Spa Intensive Heel Balm really is a life saver for those dehydrated, cracking heels which have suffered enormously from your favourite pair of sandals. What I tend to do to get the best results is exfoliate, preferably with it's sibling, Sanctuary Spa Salt Scrub and then generously apply the intensive heel balm before slipping on a comfy pair of socks. Leave these on overnight and in the morning your feet will feel baby-soft!

2 So, like already mentioned, the Sanctuary Spa Salt Scrub is a must for exfoliating your skin in order to remove any dead skin, clean out your pores. However this salt scrub is intense, so be sure to use a mighty fine moisturizer afterwards. 

3 This is where the heroic Sanctuary Spa Body Butter comes in, this moisturizer is thick and creamy, and has a delicious smell. Once this is applied, your skin will feel soft for days on end. Must buy!

4 Okay, so I've done a lot of talking about skin so far, but hair is just as important and needs a lot of attention if you have highlighted/blonde hair like me. I am a sucker for the Herbal Essences range of hair masks, but Herbal Essences Hello Hydration deep conditioning mask is ideal for recuperating your precious locks after a sun-filled holiday.

5 And last, but definitely not least is the holiday drugstore buy (as it was in a time of emergency due to my skin looking like a fried lobster after a day in the sun) is the Lilien Sun Active Aftersun Burn Relief Ice. Although you may be back from your holidays, it is still vital to be treating those areas of your skin which may be prone to peeling or are still reminiscent of your days looking like a human lobster. This buy was a godsend, quite literally! 

Friday, July 26

Gran Canaria: Part I


Ever since Ben and I started travelling together (almost four years ago!), we have always said that we want to try out new places we have never been before. By doing this we get to see different cultures and explore more places. However, like with any holiday, it takes a good few days to wind down after a hectic schedule and travelling, so we spent the first couple of days chilling and catching up on well earned resting; either by the beach, over drinks or by the pool. Nevertheless, we couldn't resist ourselves having a bit of an exploration in those sleepy days. 

The place where we stayed, Cordial Green Golf Bungalows in Maspalomas was idyllic. We were fortunate enough to have a view of the golf course and at every breakfast we would watch the early starters have a game of golf.

Between Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas, there was a bridge which had stunning views across the more sophisticated Maspalomas. This is where we spent our holiday, as we were not too keen on Playa del Ingles.

Oh, and of course we tried the famous traditional Spanish dish, Paella with shell fish spectacular. It was that good that I was tempted to lick the plate clean!

Wednesday, July 24

Voluminous Summer Hairstyles

In summer I really love experimenting with different hairstyles, whether it be curls, straight, up-do's and whatnot, trying out different hairstyles is always something fun to do. However I must admit, my personal favourite has to be voluminous, clean and breezy hairstyles, hairstyles that look so effortlessly charming. So, I have compiled three of my ultimate favourite voluminous hairstyles that I think are a must for summer.
Romantic curls is such an easy hairstyle to achieve and is a great hairstyle to go for if you're going out for a meal or drinks with your friends. The bouncy, smooth curls give you that salon look, but instead you've accomplished this style at home with heat rollers and a spritz of hairspray.
1 After assembling your hair into the hot rollers and left them in for at least 45 minutes, then unravel in the direction of your curls.
2 Pin a piece of twisted hair back to give your bellowing fringe more definition. Or you could opt not to clip any hair back for a daytime look.
Beach waves is a classic summer look and my all time favourite go-to look as you really can't go wrong with loose, messy curls. What started my love for beach waves was Lauren Conrad's hair in The Hills as she always had gorgeous, golden, Californian waves and ever since I've been recreating that very look. This look, without saying, is perfect for going to the beach.
1 Curl your hair in sections, I start from the bottom layer and work my way to the top of my head, leaving the curling tongue on each section for about 10 seconds; however it really just depends on the heat of your tongues, mine was at 190 Celsius.
2 Once your hair has cooled, run your fingers threw your hair, this will ensure that your hair has a wave-like effect; and not separated curls.
The voluptuous ponytail is such an easy, yet put-together look. Whenever I'm out in Manchester or Liverpool I see countless girls sporting this look, especially in Selfridges beauty section. The great part about this hairstyle is that it looks stylish, but not trying too hard with the loose bangs at the front and the messy swirled piece of hair at the top of the ponytail. I would wear my hair like this if I was wearing an item of clothing with a statement neckline or pattern.

1 Collect your hair and put it into a bobble, however resist the urge to neaten your hair as this will counteract the look.
2 Grab a piece of hair from underneath your ponytail and wrap it around the bobble. Then secure with 2 - 3 bobby pins. Spritz lightly hairspray over the wrapped piece of hair to secure it.

What's your favourite summertime hairstyle?

Tuesday, July 23

Review: Rimmel London Nude Pink

{Rimmel London Nude Pink}

This lipstick is an absolute must for summer as the subtle gold sparkles within the pink lipstick really gives your lips a summer evening's glow. This lipstick looks very sophisticated and understated, which is perfect for summer. Once applied, this usually stays on for about 4 hours and then you'll definitely have to reapply otherwise you'll have uneven colour on your lips. Rimmel London's Nude Pink compliments a sun kissed tan to perfection, a must buy!

Thursday, July 18

Summer Style


Beach:
1 Karen Walker Number One Sunglasses £172.43
2 Dune Steve Madden Cuff Sandals £55
3 Topshop Blue Flower Cover Up £38
4 Zimmerman Locket Frill Bikini £130.27
5 Zimmerman Zebra Hide Beach Towel £150.31

Barbecue:
1 Topshop Tangerine Broderie Cover Up £30
2 Zimmerman Celestial Bonded Frill 1 Pc £206.90
3 Zimmerman Flat Tassel Sandals £183.54
4 Ray Ban Aviator Sunglasses £135
5 Sophia Webster Leather Backpack £420

Formal:
1 Lack of Color Miami Mint Hat £28.03
2 Alejandro Ingelmo Pumps £166.31
3 French Connection Ruth Classic Dress £60 - £120
4 Aldo Battershell Sunglasses £10
5 Anya Hindmarch Capability Straw Clutch £350

Wednesday, July 17

DIY Paper Flower Garland


A garland is an essential to any bedroom or office (or any other well loved room for that matter) to give it that extra bit of femininity and delicate touch. There are literally hundreds of different garland ideas and creations out there, however my favourite, in keeping with my bedroom theme, is the flower garland. 

You will need:

Paper
Template (downloadable here)
Tissue paper
Scissors
String
Pencil
Nails
Hammer
Thread
Sewing needle

1 Print off the template and then cut around it.
2 Placing the template onto the tissue paper, draw around the template onto the tissue paper.
3 Assemble 3 - 4 tissue flowers per each flower to give it more body and then cut around them from the template.
4 Sew the bundle of paper flowers together, this should consist of 3 - 4 tissue paper flowers.
5 Sew the flowers onto the cut string (my string was measured at 145cm).
7 Hammer two nails into the wall and then hang the garland on these nails. 

Tuesday, July 16

Splurge or Save


There's something remarkably beautiful and elegant about these studded heels, Valentino's design is soft and feminine, whereas any other studded shoe would look grungy and gothic. As soon as I saw these Valentino pumps I knew it was love at first sight, they're understated but attention-grabbing. However sadly £600 is a lot to spend at one pop on a pair of shoes, so I think I'd settle for the oh-so-similar and just as gorgeous Boohoo shoes.

Moisture Duo


Okay, so as you're already probably aware, I am just a tad (to say the least) obsessed with Clinique products. However, when it comes to my morning routine, I always use these two products on my face, especially this Spring/Summer as it is vital to use skincare products with SPF included. Yet, I always tend to buy and use skincare and cosmetic products which have SPF in them all year round as even when the sun's not out, the UV rays are(!). 

These two beauties you see above were made for each other, they compliment each other perfectly when applied onto the face. You may have noticed that the Clinique Super Defense SPF 25 (£37 for 50ml) is in fact for very dry to dry skin as I do tend to suffer from flakes of dry skin every now and then. 

So, what my trick is of a morning, is I apply Clinique Super Defense SPF 25 generously over the whole of my face and my neck and then let this sink in for about 5 to 10 minutes. After the product has nearly fully soaked in, I dab Clinique Repairwear Uplifting SPF 15 (£50 for 50ml) sparingly over the face. Basically, I only apply this where I am prone to wrinkles or just dryness. I would advise that it is crucial when applying both of these products to the neck, to rub it in a circular motion upwards to counteract the lines on your neck.

Once I have completed indulging my skin in this, I will then leave it again for another 10 to 15 minutes whilst I munch on my Special K before applying my makeup.

MAC Snob v Rimmel Blush Pink


When it comes to buying a lipstick, there are so many different things to consider, how much are you prepared to pay, is it worth it, where's the best place to buy one, what colour and so on. If you've read my review on the MAC Snob lipstick here, then you'll know that it took me almost a year to decide which colour to finally get. And to be honest with you, I have not been disappointed in the slightest with MAC Snob, however when I was shopping in my local drugstore the other day, I saw Rimmel's almost identical version in Blush Pink for a fraction of the price. So I decided that it would be wise to test it out and compare it with MAC's Snob lipstick. I love the Blush Pink lipstick, maybe because of the price, however I think that in future I'll be sticking to MAC Snob as it has greater longevity and has a slightly better texture. Sorry Rimmel!

Friday, July 12

Summer To-Do List


As summer is well and truly upon us (in the Northen hemisphere), I have compiled a list of things that I want to do this summer. It is always important to make a mental or written down list of things to do as then your summer break will be far more enjoyable if you're constantly keeping yourself busy with the people and things that you love.

1 Have a barbecue on the beach

2 Buy a hammock/make use of your hammock and chill outside

3 Bring a stack of magazines to your favourite cafe

4 Buy/rent/use an SLR and spend the entire day taking photos

5 Visit a local thrift shop/flee market

6 Indulge in spa inspired activities, for example doing a mani/pedi, self-tanning, face masks, etc

7 Host a summer nostalgia party

8 Take a gardening class with friends

9 Go on a bike ride and have a delicious picnic

Thursday, July 11

A Summer's Evening

{Me and my brother, Mike before the performance} 
{Christ being tempted by the Devil}
{The Passion of Christ}
{The story of Adam and Eve}

For the first time ever the other night I witnessed a wonderfully enchanting performance of the Mystery Plays at my local church. Mystery Plays were the earliest formally developed plays performed in Medieval Europe, with the focus upon the representation of the Bible stories in Churches.

So, a few centuries on and my local parish was showcasing the ancient Mystery Plays for all to see. It was a lovely evening where all the audience were greeted by the cast members and a carefully laid buffet for us to indulge in. The weather was beautiful and the church looked breathtaking in the evening sunset. 

After our stomachs were pleasantly full, we were escorted inside to our seats where we awaited the beginning of the performance. And it was truly magical. What I admired most about this performance was that people from all over the local area came together, some to even perform it, and spend the evening together. My mother was even part of the cast and she did a brilliant job!

I also saw people that I hadn't seen for years from Primary School, so it was lovely to catch up on what we were all up to. I cannot wait for the church's next performance!